OCTOBER 17, 2012 BY MZAMBITO
West Liberty University students enjoy the advantage of a well-run internship program that strengthens the student experience in special ways. Coordinated by Beverly Burke, assistant to the provost, the program has been affiliated with the Washington Center, Washington, D.C., since 1997.
“Internships are the best thing a student can do to distinguish themselves from other applicants competing to get jobs or into graduate school. I recommend this program highly,” Burke said. She also serves on the National Liaison Advisory Board to the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Programs, which allows her to stay on top of new initiatives and programs available to students.
“Since this program began 15 years ago, we have placed 70 students in prestigious internships that have had a tremendous impact on their lives. This real world experience has helped to transform them from students to working professionals in the span of 10 weeks. They benefit both personally and professionally from this experience, and they come away with the self-confidence that is needed as they graduate and enter the workforce,” Burke said.
Five students recently participated returned from internships and they agree with Burke.“The experience was great for so many reasons. I learned a lot about working and living in a large city. I also learned about the Federal and State government and how they work together,” said Francesca Miller, an English major and Hughes Honor student who will graduate this spring.
She interned at the Office of National Drug Control Policies, located in the White House. This office advises the President on drug-control issues, coordinates drug-control activities and related funding across the Federal government, and produces the annual National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence and drug-related health consequences.
Miller is currently waiting for her scores on the LSAT and working on her admission into law school, so the opportunity to work within the Federal government in our nation’s capital was ideal.
“I feel better prepared and am grateful to have the professional experience on my resume. It was wonderful to work in the White House,” she said.
Miller was one of four WLU interns located in Washington, D.C. The others were: James Bolton, pre-law major who interned at the Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto law firm, the premier advocate for the American whistleblower, according to the firm’s website (kkc.com).
Jessica Crighton, a digital media design major interned at Listen Local First, a non-profit organization that helps find jobs for local musicians, shoots videos and assists in other technological ways. Referred to as a “super intern” on the firm’s website, she was valuable to its work over the summer and her video is posted on its homepage. This is Crighton’s second internship with this program. In 2010 she went to London and worked for the Metropolitan Group, a premier international music production company.
Tyler Rodgers, an International Studies major, interned at the Peace Corps and worked in the Facilities management department, overseeing property and details in international locations. It also gave him a unique chance musically, since he composed a tune for a Peace Corps promotional video while on the job.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better internship. I love music and the chance to use this skill for the Peace Corps made the internship that much better,” Rodgers said.
West Liberty University also had an intern located in London, Caroline Dougherty, a communications major. Dougherty worked for the London Borough of Newham at the local planning authority.
Newham was the Center of London’s plans for the 2012 Olympic Games, so her experience adds a unique plus to her resume.
“That’s what is so great about these internship experiences. As students the experience sets us apart from the competition and adds to our educational experience in a special way. I am so thrilled that I got to work in London and was involved in the Olympics. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Dougherty said.
Applications for internship positions are now being accepted for all terms of the 2012-2013 school year. Interested students may contact Burke at 304-336-8004 or [email protected]